I'm in a bit of a conundrum

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by shrews824, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. shrews824

    shrews824 Synchromatic

    Age:
    42
    902
    Feb 22, 2016
    Hardinsburg, Kentucky
    Hey guys/gals,

    I'm in a bit of a conundrum and just wanted to hear some feedback.

    I started playing in bands when I was 16 years old and last played in a band 8 years ago at the age of 34. In that time I have gotten married to a beautiful woman that I absolutely adore and we now have a 3 1/2 year old daughter that is the light of my life. We both have excellent jobs, and are extremely happy with our home life, so not playing out didn't bother me one single bit.

    Here's my situation. A few months ago I went with my buddy to his bands practice. He told me to bring a guitar and sit in and just jam a little. I did..... and really enjoyed it. The band contacted my buddy and asked him if I'd be interested in joining the band. I told him to tell them that I wasn't sure the timing was right, but I appreciated the gesture, etc., etc.

    Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. The exact same thing happened. I went to jam with them again (felt even better this time) and have again been contacted about playing with them.

    I'm not sure what to do. I was perfectly happy jamming at home and with friends at their houses on occasion and still having time to hang with my wife and daughter. However, I'm really getting the itch to play in a band and play in front of some folks again.

    I don't want to miss a single second of my daughter growing up. I want to go to every function that she may be involved in and if I join a band that will seriously impede that.

    I realize everyone will have different opinions and everyone has a different situation, but I just wanted to hear some feedback.

    Thanks a bunch for listening,
    Scott
     
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  2. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    My 1st question would be... is your buddy ok with it? Don't dent a friendship over a band.

    2nd question, and only YOU can answer... is the thing with your daughter... how often would this band rehearse and gig? If it's just a once-a-week practice with an occasional gig, it seems do-able.

    My band, from the beginning, we all agreed: NO STRESS. If someone can't make practice, we cancel. If that means 3 straight weeks for various reasons (family, work, health), we cancel. NO STRESS. If it takes us a year of intermittent rehearsals to finally gig (and it has), NO STRESS.

    I'm too damned old (and I'm only 49) to stress about something that should be bringing joy. My band is about fun and love for the music... we don't need extra cash for bills or anything. I vowed from the beginning, at the first sign of stress, I'm gone. Life is too important and too stressful without adding more. So I guess I'm saying, if missing ANY of your daughter's things will stress you, OR if your canceling you appearance at practice because of that will cause stress.....
     
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  3. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    Since I don't have any children, my opinion may not be of too much worth. And I am in the comfortable situation that my wife is the singer in my band...
    Nevertheless, my thoughts: does this band gig very often (every other weekend or more?)
    How often do they practise, and what do they usually do when one member can't show up?
    Is the practising room in a comfortable distance from your home?
    Are they seriously playing or just a bunch of nice folks that tune their instruments, have a few drinks, jam a tune or two, have a few drinks...

    And how much does it itch? I know some folks that have managed to keep their marriage alive and see their children grow up while playing in a band.

    I see ruger9 was a bit faster...
     
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  4. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I always felt very bad when not being in a band.
    The 3 hours per week of true qualitytime for me are essential for my well-being.
    My family understands this and there was never any discussions about it.

    If the rehearsal-time will not interfere with your family-life, I would not hesitate a second and join.

    P.S.:
    Most bands that I know usually rehearse at 8 p.m. or a little later when their little kids are already in bed. Having some positive time for yourself on a regular base usually contributes to a good family life. I experienced that in some cases even my wife made friends with the wifes of my band mates. That was a very enjoyable time for all of us.)
     
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  5. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    I would start by asking what the wife that you absolutely adore thinks about the idea. After you get her input, then I would find out about the band's schedule of practices and gigs. If the time involvement is too much/would keep you away from your daughter too much, then for me it would be a no go. At that point maybe what you are looking for is a situation more like what fuger9 has.
     
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  6. section2

    section2 Synchromatic

    666
    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    Good advice above.

    One idea: if their gigging/rehearsal schedule is too busy for you, would it work for everyone if you sat in as a guest musician at gigs from time to time, and rehearsed just often enough to keep up? I'm thinking of Patti Scialfa's role in the E Street Band—though she has a bit of a different situation, being married to the Boss.

    For what it's worth, you and I are in similar life spaces. I've been in a band with the same bunch of guys on-and-off for 26 years. I'm 41 now, with a busy career, a marriage, and two young kids, so gigs and rehearsals are few and far between. (When my daughter was a newborn, she had a onesie that read, "I Ruined a Perfectly Good Band." I should give one out to each of my clients at work too.)

    Our singer and bassist have more time on their hands than I do, so they regularly gig together in two other bands without me. Our band plays a local show together about once a year, and they have their other bands to keep busy when I'm not available, and this arrangement seems to work for everyone. The main thing is that we put our friendship before our band's activities, and I put my family first. We all understand each other's priorities, and that makes it work.
     
  7. shrews824

    shrews824 Synchromatic

    Age:
    42
    902
    Feb 22, 2016
    Hardinsburg, Kentucky
    Thanks so much for the feedback everyone.

    First, I believe my buddy would be fine with it. He's a very easy going guy to begin with and he doesn't take it too seriously. Another thing is he's probably going to be moving to another state within the next year.

    I'm not completely sure about the bands practice schedule. I think they practice once a week for about 2-3 hours (30 minute drive each way for me). A few of the members work swing shift at a factory so their schedules vary. As far as gigs, it seems like they go through stretches where they may have a few gigs then it may be months before they have another. I don't think any of them have the delusions of grandeur of becoming rock stars or anything and neither do I. They just love getting together and jamming and playing a few gigs.

    I mentioned it to my wife the first go 'round and she was on board with it. She thinks it is good for me to get out of the house every once in a while. o_O;) .... and the "itch" is very prevalent.

    I just can't stand the fact of not being there for my wife or daughter. I have this feeling as if I'm being selfish and putting my needs in front of theirs. You know?

    I may just have to have a long talk with her again about it. She will support whatever decision I make. She's just that kind of person.

    Thanks for listening everyone. Appreciate the feedback.

    p.s. I have no idea how much it pays. Haha.
     
  8. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    That's my situation, exactly. And when you daughter has an event, just cancel practice. It doesn't sound like it would be a big deal...

    IF, however, you are talking about "just hanging with your daughter at home EVERY night", then I think you've answered your own question.

    Also my EXACT situation. Altho- she agreed with me on "if there's any stress, you quit" (one of the band members is notoriously late, and unreliable, and has been our whole lives.) He's still late, not as, but his reliability has gone up lol.

    Well, again- if you being at practice makes you feel guilty because you're not at home watching tv with your family, you have your answer.
     
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  9. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    Nor should you, at this stage in your life. It's about having fun and "scratching that itch", not about getting paid. If you aren't a professional musician supporting yourself with gigs, the money is irrelevant.
     
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  10. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    Ok, so I'd just like to say that I don't think it's selfish to enjoy some time with other people. It's healthy to have a bit of time for yourself. You may even get to enjoy family-life a bit more.
    And maybe there is something your dear wife would like to do on a regular base, so you'd have to be at home alone another evening while she's away?
     
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  11. thunder58

    thunder58 Gretschified

    Age:
    60
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    I say join the band and have fun , but .......... leave room for the wife to join a band too . In other words .... let her have a girls night out once or twice a month and be prepard to not only babysit , but throw a few bucks at her to have and say " on me tonight " . Being a new mom ,she need an escape too . And don't forget to leave room for family fun and I don't mean food shopping either
     
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  12. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    My .02 is family first, always, kids grow to fast and at one point while they are still kids they will decide they don't want to have anything to do with you a stage that when they become adults hopefully goes away but while they want to be with you, be there. If the band understands that and wants you bad enough to schedule around your daughter's needs then go for it.
     
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  13. shrews824

    shrews824 Synchromatic

    Age:
    42
    902
    Feb 22, 2016
    Hardinsburg, Kentucky
    Yeah, I agree with you. My one thing would be that if my daughter has an event I'd want to be there. Also, if we were to practice once a week I don't think I would feel too guilty about it.

    I agree with you also. I think it IS healthy for us to do our own thing from time to time. She has her girls night out sometimes, but not as often as I would be practicing however.

    No doubt, no doubt. She's a great mother and totally puts our daughters needs in front of her own. I'm all about her hanging with her friends from time to time. Like I mentioned, I may bring it back up to her again and see how the conversation goes. Either way it's not life or death. There are greater things to worry about in life that's for sure.
     
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  14. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    A man has to have a hobby, it's the law.

    Also, your daughter will be stoked that her dad is cool enough to play in a band.
     
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  15. Flouswa

    Flouswa Synchromatic

    Personally, if the wife is okay with it and from what you've said about the playing frequency, then I'd go for it. I would love for a situation like this to come around for myself sometime in the next year. Keep in mind, while we all want our families to be a priority, we all need some "me" time once in a while.

    Timing is everything though. I remember many years ago being contacted about directing a play for a high school group whose usual director had abandoned them. I felt bad, but there was just no way I could work it into my schedule. It would have been a good experience, but it just didn't work at that point in my life.
     
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  16. shrews824

    shrews824 Synchromatic

    Age:
    42
    902
    Feb 22, 2016
    Hardinsburg, Kentucky
    Very true. I can't believe my daughter is 3 1/2 already!!! You know, maybe I'll just be one of those guys that's in the "old guy band" (no offense to anyone that's in that situation). Kids are grown and gone, retired from working, and nothing better to do than rock out with my penny loafers on with a bunch of has been hacks trying to regain a shot of youth!!! ;):)
     
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  17. shrews824

    shrews824 Synchromatic

    Age:
    42
    902
    Feb 22, 2016
    Hardinsburg, Kentucky
    Haha. She already knows her dad is the coolest!!!

    Definitely understand. When we gigged before I got married it was nearly every weekend and with a gig thrown in during the week as well. I, for sure, don't want that. I believe this could be the ideal gig for me at this point in my life, but if the wife isn't good with it, forget it. That may just be where it's at right now. Just not the right time.
     
  18. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    It's not like you're going on tour. If your wife and daughter are cool with it, do it. You'll wind up regretting it otherwise. Your wife will bring your daughter to appropriate gigs, and you can just imagine the little one's pride. If it starts to take a toll on family life, you'll know what's the right thing to do.

    Above all---enjoy it.
     
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  19. shrews824

    shrews824 Synchromatic

    Age:
    42
    902
    Feb 22, 2016
    Hardinsburg, Kentucky
    Very true and great advice. Thanks.
     
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